Well Marketed Wines: Like a Gateway Drug

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While in my grocery store today, I passed this wine display.  And I found it to be BRILLIANT.  Who wouldn’t be intrigued to taste wine that has flavors of chocolate, caramel or coffee?  Even newbie eonophiles would be compelled to see if they can discern the nuances of these rich flavors.  I see Apothic brought into my restaurant all the time as a BYOB Wine.  I purchased a bottle of the Apothic Dark 2015 to assist me in pulling all my Christmas decorations out of their boxes.

img_4847The pros:  What a great introduction for someone to red wine.  Its super-purple opaque color and glass staining show its immense concentration.  Its got plenty of ripe dark fruit– Blueberry, blackberry and Cassis.  It has oak flavors of vanilla and smoky leather.  It lives up to its claim of dark chocolate and, espeically, coffee.  It has tannins but they are surrounded by richness.  Some folks describe their favorite wines to be those with very little tannins.  This would be a nice jump into something a little more mouth drying.  It is inexpensive, so many people can afford it.

The cons:  I have to assume this wine has been deeply massaged (added sugar, grape juice, additives, etc) to make sure it obtains the richness and flavor profile the “company” desired.  I am having a hard time saying “winemaker” although I’m sure they have one.   This is  a large production wine.  Alcohol is listed at 14%.  A velvet hammer.  My issue with a wine like this is that it doesn’t leave me wanting more.   I compare it to a  too rich dessert that has to be pushed away with some left on the plate.  But for someone else it could be an easy-to-drink guzzler.

Apothic Dark is a blend of Petite Syrah, Cabernet Syrah, Petite Verdot and Teroldego.  The grapes can come from anywhere in California.

The Apothic Winery website is like a hybrid between a video game and a website.  They are definitely catering to young wine drinkers!!  You can have your palm read ( if you have an updated Browser) or you can learn about Apothic cocktails.  The Apothic Dark cocktail contains Apothic Dark wine, Bourbon, lemon juice, cinnamon bitters and ginger beer, stirred and garnished with a cinnamon stick.  Very pretty to look at, but I haven’t tried it!  Inferno is another Apothic wine on the website, but not one I saw in the store.  It is aged in used whiskey barrels for 60 days “layering the wine with maple and spice notes.”  Interesting or weird??

Would I serve this to my  wine educated friends?  No.  But it is a great introduction to the world of red wine.  It is marketing genius.  Bold and beautiful label.   Easy to pronounce. Clear indication of what to expect in the bottle.  And it’s about $10.  Savvy marketing!!

There is a wine for every glass and I like to help you find it.

In Case You Were Asking “Where is the Cab?”

Black  Coyote Reserve 2006 Napa Valley

It is ten years old and it has aged beautifully!  Although this wouldn’t fall into my everyday consumption, this wine is available at Specs in limited quantities (I checked!!).  This is in the $60-$70 range and I feel it was very good for the price.

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A big, Napa cab with flavors of dark berry, dark ripe plum, with some cocoa and baking spice.  The flavor was robust and the tannins were smooth and velvety.  It was so darn easy to enjoy this wine.

The label puts the alcohol at 15.2%, but the leeway on labeling alcohol by volume is 1.5% in either direction.  I felt this one was close to 16%.  At that alcohol level, I recommend and advise that you enjoy it with food!  Something hearty such as red meat, whether steak, brisket, roast in red wine, or lamb.  Enjoy.